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`[The client material]... stimulated thought and reflection... Clark presented a large number of very tricky case studies and illustrated all manner of different and interesting ways of responding to clients who find it difficult to engage with the process of counselling. Furthermore, this is done in the framework of a model of counselling which integrates humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural theories in a most interesting and convincing way. In the end, I learned quite a lot and found myself pondering the case histories days later' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling The understanding of defence mechanisms is vital to counsellors and psychotherapists, particula

Undoing
Undoing

“I have done that,” says my memory.

“I cannot have done that,” says my pride,

and remains inexorable. Eventually—memory yields.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886/1989, p. 801

Pride is not the only emotion that prompts people to relinquish the memory of experiences that they wish to forget. Shame, regret, humiliation, and other painful feelings affect a person's desire to dismiss perceived transgressions. Depending on the contextual circumstances of the behavior that is attempted to be forgotten, the letting-go process may be purposeful or maladaptive. In a related direction, individuals may pursue a step beyond memory yield and take an action that seeks to negate or undo a prior act. Through an expiatory gesture, a person may retract a previous behavior. A woman, for instance, says to a friend, “I don't ...

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